What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations and is a new piece of legislation that will supersede the Data Protection Act. It will not only apply to the UK and EU; it covers anywhere in the world in which data about EU citizens is processed.
The GDPR is similar to the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 (which the practice already complies with), but strengthens many of the DPA’s principles. The main changes are:
- Practices must comply with subject access requests
- Where we need your consent to process data, this consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous
- There are new, special protections for patient data
- The Information Commissioner’s Office must be notified within 72 hours of a data breach
- Higher fines for data breaches – up to 20 million euros
What is ‘patient data’?
Patient data is information that relates to a single person, such as his/her diagnosis, name, age, earlier medical history etc.
What is consent?
Consent is permission from a patient – an individual’s consent is defined as “any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes by which the data subject signifies his agreement to personal data relating to him being processed.”
The changes in GDPR mean that we must get explicit permission from patients when using their data. This is to protect your right to privacy, and we may ask you to provide consent to do certain things, like contact you or record certain information about you for your clinical records.
Individuals also have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.
Patients should be aware that all members of the practice has access to a patient’s medical record, however, they will only access the part of a patient’s record in accordance to their role.
The practice has ensured that all members of the practice team fully understand their responsibilities with regard to confidential data. The practice has ensured all employees have undertaken Information Governance training and have signed a written statement of the responsibilities they are undertaking towards the security of all data within the surgery. This written statement includes their responsibility to adhere to the policy even after they have left the practice.
Sharing Your Data
To ensure safe and effective care, patients’ information may be shared with other parties within the care team who are involved in their direct care. Where a patient wishes information not to be shared within the team providing direct care, then they must discuss this with their GP.
Patient information will not be shared outside of the direct care team without consent being sought. An individual has the right to refuse to have their information disclosed, although this may have an impact on their care, and their wishes will be complied with.
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) sit alongside the Data Protection Act and the GDPR. They give people specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications. There are specific rules on: Marketing calls, emails, texts and faxes; Cookies (and similar technologies) etc. At Blaenavon Medical Practice we use text messages for a variety of reasons including: Appointment Reminders; Invitation to specific clinics (for example, flu vaccination or chronic disease, if eligible) and General information (for example COVID-19 pandemic). We will only use email communication as a way of replying to you with requested information or if we feel it is in the best interests of your care.
If you wish to opt out from receiving text messages from Blaenavon Medical Practice, please contact us.
The Practice Manager
Blaenavon Medical Practice, Middle Coed Cae Road, Blaenavon, Torfaen. NP4 9AW
Tel: 01495 360663